In theaters this week: THE ROYAL WEDDING!! JK, we already watched that this morning. Who got up at 5 am for the most splendid celebration of the year?! EEE!! So exciting, but this is neither the time nor the place for wedding recap so let’s move on to entertainment of the cinematic variety. As always, there’s a range of selections at the theaters, but the pickins are rather slim this weekend. Aside from the muscles n’ ‘splosions fest “Fast Five,” from the inexplicably tenacious “Fast and Furious” franchise, there’s not much else big opening this weekend. Of course, there’s an offering for the children in “Hoodwinked Too” in 3D, and something called “Prom” (this is the first I’m hearing of it), and some semi-interesting looking limited releases.
Take beefcake, muscle cars, add gasoline, watch explode at the box office. Yes, it’s another installment of “The Fast and the Furious” — “Fast Five“! They should have gone with “Five Fast Five Furious” but that’s just me. The notable cast members from all of the films assemble (with the exceptions of Michelle Rodriguez and that guy from “Tokyo Drift“) for the greatest car chase of all– in Rio! Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Gal Gadot and more are joined by Dwayne Johnson as a skull cracking security agent on their tail. The film is actually getting surprisingly good reviews and our correspondent had a diesel fuel-soaked good time too, saying director Justin Lin executes the action choreography well, and that “all of the fast cars and scantily clad women are zooming into the big budget action adventure realm, in a heist movie with enough fast cars and property damage to make Michael Bay weep.” That’s a good thing, I think. Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Metacritic: 73
I couldn’t possibly begin to hazard a guess as to what “Prom” could be about, could you? Starring a bunch of nubile young actors gussied up in prom finest, Aimee Teegarden of “Friday Night Lights” being the biggest name of the bunch. Good for tween-sitting? RT: 45% MC: 52
In Limited Release:
Werner Herzog‘s ancient cave art documentary “Cave Of Forgotten Dreams” in 3D. Our review from TIFF says the film “is not totally forgettable effort in the cinema stalwart’s always-expanding oeuvre, but a mostly mild one that feels awfully familiar.” Be sure to check out our Herzog retrospective feature today! This is one Herzog-loving bunch, I’ll tell ya. RT: 95% MC: 84
Also on screens, Takashi Miike‘s latest, the gonzo samurai flick “13 Assassins“. Our review from VIFF says “Miike has fashioned one hell of a rousing piece of entertainment” and that it’s the notoriously off-putting Japanese director’s most accessible and entertaining genre film yet. RT: 88% MC: 89
Mark Ruffalo‘s directorial debut “Sympathy For Delicious” finally hits screens after debuting at Sundance a few years ago. Unfortunately, the material doesn’t quite work, our reviewer saying it’s “a complete clusterfuck of a script that’s directed with a leaden hand. The whole thing seems like it’s stuck in the mid-‘90s. We wish it would have stayed there.” Better luck next time, Mark! RT: 35% MC: 43
Last year’s festival hit “The Robber” hits theaters in the U.S. this week, based on a true story about an Austrian bank robber/long-distance runner. Our review from NYFF says “what a rush” and says that “[director Benjamin] Heisenberg takes us along for the ride in a way that few filmmakers would dare to do, rarely deviating from the robber or his inner circle RT: 82% MC: 56
Horror comedy “Dylan Dog: Dead of Night” opens in select theaters this week, starring former Superman Brandon Routh, who’s actually made some really interesting choices after taking off the blue tights. The film is based on a popular comic book about a private investigator in the world of the undead. More zombies and vampires to sate your unquenchable appetite!
Documentary Watch: “Exporting Raymond” follows the antics of an American producer in Moscow as he attempts to adapt “Everybody Loves Raymond” RT: 65% MC: 55; “The Arbor” is a meta-doc-adaptation of a play by a deceased playwright (um, I think? It sounds confusing) RT: 89% MC: 90
Also in theaters: An actress confronts her 13-year old self (literally) in “Way We Go Back” RT: 50%; Ed Harris as a teacher in the 60s in “That’s What I Am” RT: 73% MC: 51; Samantha Mathis and Josh Hopkins in the homecoming dramedy “Lebanon, PA ” RT: 80% MC: 49; Matt McCormick’s debut character drama “Some Days Are Better Than Others” RT: 50%; “Winter’s Bone” Oscar nominee John Hawkes stars as a cop in “Earthwork” RT: 38% MC: 50; and college horror flick “Rift.”